Environment Minister Jim Prentice made a big announcement this Saturday (Saturday? For a major policy announcement? Makes one think that the government doesn’t want it to get much attention). Prentice said that by 2020 Canada would reduce emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels, the same target the U.S. announced to the UN on Thursday. Prentice left some “wiggle room” to adjust the emission targets downward in case the Markey-Waxman bill doesn’t get passed by the U.S. Senate.
Opposition critics had this to say about Prentice’s announcement:
Linda Duncan, NDP environment critic:
“We are way beyond needing a plan. We need to be finding caps and targets for the sectors.”
Liberal environment critic David McGuinty had this to say:
“I can absolutely assure you that the Americans would never design a climate-change response, a sovereign national response, to the benefit of anything but the United States economy.“
Graham Saul of the Climate Action Network responded:
“What this government is saying now is that they intend to do nothing until the U.S. government forces them to take action which is an incredible abdication of responsibility, not to mention sovereignty.“
John Bennett of the Sierra Club said the only plan the government has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a communication strategy.
Dave Martin, Greenpeace climate and energy coordinator said:
“We’re heading in exactly the opposite direction that we need to head. Not only have they reneged on the target that they adopted a couple of years ago, they have also failed to put in place the regulations that they promised last year.”
Martin went on to say that while the government’s previous emission targets, announced in 2006, would have resulted in a three per cent reduction in emissions over 1990 levels, these latest targets will actually increase emissions by 2.5 per cent.
No comment yet available from the pinetrees in BC and Alberta, as they are too busy fending off the mountain bark beetle infestation. The glaciers, too, couldn’t be reached as they were busy retreating, but the melting perma-frost was happy to contribute some hot air into the conversation.
The Canadian government is obviously not taking climate change seriously. If you want to send them a message that this is important to you, as a Canadian, go to Call the Prime Minister on Climate Change or click here to find your Member of Parliament’s contact information.